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Calipari Believes Young Wildcats Are Growing Up

uk ul 300KENTUCKY (12/28/13) ― The University of Kentucky Wildcats prevailed against cross state rivals the Louisville Cardinals during the highest attended Rupp game of the season Saturday, Dec. 28 in Lexington. Attendance was recorded at 24,396, the ninth-best in Rupp Arena history.

Louisville started the game with an 8-0 run including a pair of 3-point baskets by Chris Jones. UK got on the board with a foul shot by Julius Randle at 17:38 followed by a driving dunk and short driving bank shot by Randle. That started a 12-2 Wildcat run capped by an Andrew Harrison three-point play at 14:24 that put Kentucky in the lead.

James Young swished UK's first 3-pointer at 10:40 putting the Wildcats up 17-16. Tied at 19, Kentucky went on a 15-6 run, moving ahead 34-25 for the largest lead of the first half.

UK led 41-36 at halftime including a 12-0 advantage on second-chance points. Randle's 17 points led all scorers.

After a Kentucky basket opened the second half, Louisville went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 43. After being tied again at 45, Kentucky got a 6-1 run to go up 51-46. Louisville responded with a 6-0 spurt to retake the lead at 52-51. Tied at 53, Uk had a 13-3 spurt to go up 66-56 ― the largest lead of the game ― forcing a pair of Cardinal timeouts.

Coach John Calipari said that his team “grew up today.”

“Again, guys, this is the youngest team I've ever coached, ever,” said Calipari. “ I'm learning.  Believe me when I tell you, I've never coached a team this young, and so there's so many things that we're doing, trying to figure out, as we go.”

UK led by at least five points the rest of the second half to the 73-66 win.

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino said his team was outgunned from a physical standpoint.

“We had a shot in the second half, and missed free throws and a big defensive mistake in giving up the 3 (pointer),” said Pitino. “I give them credit, they did a good job against our pressure. Playing a couple of teams this year from a physical standpoint, we are getting outplayed in the three, four and five spots physically. Never mind the execution-wise, we are just getting taken on the backboard, taken inside and we have to improve in those areas.”

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Information provided by UK Athletics

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